'I was twenty-six years old and an associate beauty editor at Lucky, one of the top fashion magazines in America. That’s all that most people knew about me. But beneath the surface, I was full of secrets: I was a drug addict, for one. A pillhead. I was also an alcoholic-in-training who guzzled warm Veuve Clicquot after work alone in my boss’s office with the door closed; a conniving and manipulative uptown doctor-shopper; a salami-and-provolone-puking bulimic who spent a hundred dollars a day on binge foods when things got bad (and they got bad often); a weepy, wobbly, wildly hallucination-prone insomniac; a tweaky self-mutilator; a slutty and self-loathing downtown party girl; and – perhaps most of all – a lonely weirdo. But, you know, I had access to some really fantastic self-tanner.'
By the age of 15, Cat Marnell longed to work in the glamorous world of women's magazines - but was also addicted to the ADHD meds prescribed by her father. Within 10 years she was living it up in New York as a beauty editor at Condé Nast, with a talent for 'doctor-shopping' that secured her a never-ending supply of prescribed amphetamines. Her life had become a twisted merry-go-round of parties and pills at night, while she struggled to hold down her high-profile job during the day.
Witty, magnetic and penetrating - prompting comparisons to Bret Easton Ellis and Charles Bukowski - Cat Marnell reveals essential truths about her generation, brilliantly uncovering the many aspects of being an addict with pin-sharp humour and beguiling style.
'New York's enfant terrible...Her talent has resided in her uncanny ability to write about addiction from the untidy, unsafe, unhappy epicentre of the disease, rather than from some writerly remove.' Telegraph
'I LOVE this book' Catriona Innes, Cosmopolitan Magazine UK
'An unputdownable, brilliantly written rollercoaster' Shappi Khorsandi
'Brilliantly written and harrowing and funny and honest' Louise France, The Times Magazine
'Easily one of the most anticipated memoirs of the year...[Marnell's] got an inimitable style (and oh my god, so many have tried) and a level of talent so high, it's impossible not to be rooting for her.' NYLON
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Cat Marnell takes her place on the long, storied list of addicts who’ve written about their descent into the madness of scorched-earth relationships, all-night parties and blurred-out days. What makes How to Murder Your Life stand out is Marnell’s flat-out rejection of self-pity and cutting observations regarding her skewed morals and terrible judgment. The chapters dealing with Marnell’s devastating adolescence pierced our hearts and made us root for her to find some kind of footing.
Marnell, a former beauty editor at Lucky magazine, devoted several decades and many tens of thousands of dollars to living a double life, captured in forensic detail in this "amphetamine memoir." As a beauty intern, writer and later editor for Nylon, Teen Vogue, Glamour, and Lucky, Marnell inhabited a rarefied, high-heeled, and high-fashion world, but while doing so she was constantly high. Beneath her eating-disorder-thin figure beat the heart of a true addict. Hers is a New York crash-and-burn story, a slow-motion train wreck rescued from mere voyeurism by Marnell's wit, impressive memory for people and vivid scenes, devastating honesty, and true gift with words. In the high-rise towers of Manhattan publishing, Marnell attends meetings on topics such as "blonzer" (a beauty marriage between bronzer and blush); in the course of her work she meets her idol Courtney Love; but in her spare time she's doctor-shopping, scoring any substance she can, and engaging in days-long benders that are exhausting and horrific simply to read about. Eventually, her memoir explains how a privileged, highly educated woman from a respectable family dug her way out from under the sheer volume of pills, coke, heroin, dangerous joyless sex, insecurity, depression, addiction, and next-level self-loathing exhaustively recorded here.